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faulkner. with just days to go until the fiscal cliff deadline president obama and top congressional leaders are set for a crucial meeting. expectations are low for a deal when house and senate leaders head to the white house this afternoon to meet there with president obama. lawmakers are increasingly looking at the period following the december 31st deadline we're told to come up with a fix to avoid massive tax hikes and spending cuts, affect lives of nearly every american many economists say could plunge the economy into another recession. chief white house correspondent ed henry live with the latest. so in this meeting, ed, is there any hope they will accomplish anything? >> reporter: well it is pretty low expectations, jon. what we're expecting when you talk to top officials of both parties the president will offer a scaled back plan, something he laid out lines friday before christmas here in the white house briefing room before he went to hawaii. where he said look, we have to scale back expectations. basically just extend middle class tax cuts. don't worry about the rates for
president obama, some leadership from harry reid in the senate and i think maybe we can work a deal out. with doug everyone share as little bit of the blame here but i think right now we should pay attention to the senate and see if senate democrats will actually act. jon: you use ad interesting turn of phrase in the last answer. you said the president has talked about doing some entitlement reforms. doesn't everybody in washington acknowledge that entitlement programs, social security, medicare, so forth, are the big drivers of our nation's debt problem and are going to have to be tackled seriously? >> well, republicans ran millions and millions of dollars of ads against democrats when we actually did reform medicare as part of the affordable care act. we saved about $715 billion and that was a talking point for republicans over the last election. so, getting lectures from republicans on doing something on medicare is kind of ridiculous when the only thing that they have done on medicare is actually broaden a prescription drug plan over the last 10 years and made it bigger. jon: amos,
it is not all that rare. kelly? kelly: jamie, thanks. right now president obama is cutting his vacation short to head back to washington and jump-start the fiscal cliff negotiations with congress. talks fell apart before christmas. the deadline now is just days away and there is no deal in sight to avoid the tax hikes and spending cuts set to go into effect january 1st. our juan williams is a fox news political analyst and he joins us today and very quickly, juan, merry christmas to you. >> merry christmas, kelly. kelly: this is daunting task facing congress to avert the so-called fiscal cliff that will set into motion more than $600 billion in drastic and draconian allic tax hikes and spending cuts. that will cause a lot of pain for all americans and does congress have enough time to act on this? >> they do. you know it will be very close and it may in fact go beyond the deadline per se although people are thinking at the moment it is possible to get something done by the end of this week. the key here, kelly, is the senate. we have been so focused on the house, speaker boehner, plan. about,
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